Let start with some cold hard facts about website speed.
According to Microsoft Bing, an additional two second delay in page load time reduces user satisfaction by 3.8%, increases lost revenue (per user) by 4.3%, and a reduces clicks by 4.3%. Some clever dude at Amazon sussed out that an additional one second delay could cost it $1.6 billion in sales each year. How do you like them apples?!
If you have a WordPress website but it’s slower than your average turtle, you might want to make a move on that, for two reasons.
1. Speed up your WordPress website to increase your ROI.
Firstly, websites that are slow to load and navigate are incredibly painful for your users (a.k.a current and potential customers). No one ever complained that your site loaded too quickly right? In a world where everything is at our fingertips and we can get our hands on information faster than you can say ‘pass the encyclopedia darling’, we’ve become a pretty impatient bunch. You have a matter of seconds before your potential customer hits the back-button. What you really want is for them to hang around, read your stuff, then pick up the phone screaming ‘take my money’!
2. Speed up your WordPress website to make friends with Google (and potentially help yourself rank higher in search results.
In case winding up your customers wasn’t a good enough reason for you to look into improving the speed of your website, take note, that Google have asked nicely, and that’s kinda a big deal. Not only that, but if you take steps to increase the speed of your website, (amongst other things, like speedy and secure hosting), they will reward you with an extra point for your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Google use page speed as one of the many indicators that dictates where your site will sit in the search results, meaning more visitors, meaning more customers, meaning more pennies in your piggie bank.
So, how can you increase the speed of your WordPress website?
Well, the short answer is:
1) Get it built professionally in the first place (but then I would say that, wouldn’t I..)
2) Host it with a reputable WordPress website hosting company.
3) Keep it up-to-date, safe and secure. (Either DIY or a via Website Maintenance & Security Plan).
But that’s not really useful to you if the horse has already bolted. So, read on..
Why should I pay more for WordPress Hosting?
Hosting is like tyres on your car. You can put spendy ones on or cheapy ones. They will both let you drive, but with varying results, most noticeable when you need to stop quickly or drive in the rain. It’s all down to that old cliché ‘You get what you pay for’. We recommend WP Engine. Yes, that was a referral link, but yes, we’d recommend them anyway. Why? Because that’s all they do! Downtime is minuscule, support is 24/7 and site speed is taken care of. Now, don’t get me wrong, a poorly built site with huge images and a million plugins will never be quick to load, no matter how much you pay for your hosting, but good quality hosting will ensure that’s taken out of the equation, leaving you to work on the things you can control.
What else can I do to make my website load faster?
Well, there are lots of things. But without getting too techy, it’s difficult to explain them. Using a robust custom built theme or theme template will help. As will ensuring you’re caching the pages and making use of a CDN (content delivery network). Making sure your images are only as big as they need to be an optimising your database will all help to increase the page speed of your site. But, those things should largely be taken care of by your WordPress Designer/ Web Developer.
If your WordPress website is running slow and you need help to bring it back to life, we’d love to help.
For websites we didn’t build, we offer a WordPress Website Audit. This is a 60-point checklist of your site, that we’ll write up into a succinct, informative report for your reading pleasure. The WordPress Website Audit helps you make informed decisions around improving your website, and helps us to make recommendations on how to get the best bang for your buck. Once completed, if you decide to work with us, you can choose your Website Maintenance & Security Plan and call us your buddy. The plans are our commitment to each other, but if you’re not happy at any time, you’re free to go.